Friday, January 15, 2016

What's Your Mindset?

This week I was introduced to a term I was not familiar with, “growth mindset” through my Twitter feed. So, of course, I had to go explore it some more as it sounded intriguing.

What is mindset? To get a really good understanding, go to this website, Mindset, and click on the link, What is it? Briefly, mindset can be one of two ways of thinking. A person can have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. This image provides a good visual of the basics of both mindsets:
As I look at the “characteristics” of both, I can see where I fall with my own mindset. Sometimes my mindset is in the growth mindset—when I am really, really interested in learning something new that seems important to me. When I am in this mindset, I continue to try until I can do it or have succeeded—doesn’t matter if I am smarter or more talented than someone else. I have a positive attitude.

But there is also the side of me that flips into the fixed mindset when I am faced with things I am not that interested in—I end up in that area I call “can’t”.  I can’t succeed because I am not that talented, not that smart, etc. My attitude when I am in a fixed mindset is not very positive, can be quite negative in fact.

We all know a person or persons who may exhibit these two mindsets—one person sees the glass half full, the potential and possibilities, while the other sees the glass have empty, and only dwells on the negatives. I had just never thought about it being a mindset before. The exciting idea is that a growth mindset can be learned.

The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”

To explore more about this concept check out these resources:

What will you do to move your thinking closer to a growth mindset?
What will you do to help your students learn to think with a growth mindset?

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

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